Special to the News-Telegram
CUMBY — The North Hopkins Panthers downed Cumby 5-2 last Tuesday in another classic baseball struggle between the two rivals. It was to be the last time old foes Tim Henderson of North Hopkins and Scott Mabe of Cumby faced each other on the field of battle. Mabe will be stepping down as the head baseball coach at Cumby after the playoffs this year.
"Coach (Scott) Mabe is Cumby baseball. We have had a great rivalry over the past six years. The games have always been close and the two teams are usually fighting for playoff spots during the year," Henderson said. "We were able to get the win this time but Cumby will also be in the playoffs from our district. Coach Mabe will have them ready."
Panther senior flame-thrower Kevin Meza held the Trojans to just three hits while fanning 12 Trojan batters in six innings. Silas Whaley came on in the bottom of the seventh inning to close it out on the mound for the Panthers.
Panther slugger Jessie Williams continued his torrid pace at the plate going 3-4 including a pair of doubles. Meza and Blake Adams each contributed two hits while Panthers banging out one hit each were Whaley, Rheston Sills, Austin Oldham, Clay Bearden and Javier Rojo.
The Panthers took a 1-0 lead in the top of the first inning after Meza walked, stole second base and scored on a single by Williams. North Hopkins increased their lead to 4-0 in the top of the third inning. Sills got the big hit with a triple knocking in two Panthers runners. In the top of the fourth inning Whaley doubled and scored on a hit by Meza giving North Hopkins a 5-0 advantage.
Cumby closed the gap with a run in the fifth inning and another tally in the bottom of the seventh to close the scoring out with the 5-2 Panther victory.
The Panthers took on another top Class 2A team in Farmersville last Thursday in preparation for the tough grind of playoff baseball.
The Farmers outlasted the Panthers 10-1 scoring three times in the third and fourth innings to gain a 6-0 lead. Farmersville added a turn in the bottom of the fifth and tacked on three more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning to notch the victory.
The Panthers will be trying to maintain their unbeaten status in district play with an home game against Saltillo Wednesday followed by the season finale at Roxton Friday, April 25. North Hopkins will have a bye in the first round. The Panthers will be honoring their senior class at Wednesday's Saltillo match-up. Playing in their final regular season home game will be Blake Adams, Kevin Meza, Jessie Williams, Rheston Sills, Silas Whaley, Allan Morehead and Tarence Berry.
The Panthers stand alone at the top of District 16-A with a 12-0 slate and are now 13-5 on the season.
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